I had a great end to my week. I was privileged to be invited to speak at BYU Idaho’s annual Entrepreneur’s Conference. I was one of several entrepreneurs that had the opportunity to judge a few competitions, participate in a panel discussion, speak to a few business classes and to present a break-out type workshop for BYU Idaho students.
Let me just say a few things about the experience that caught me a bit off guard. First, the students and faculty hosting the event were amazing. Not only were they kind and informative but they put on an event that was top notch. I have been to several similar style events all across the country and this event was of the highest caliber. The content of the presentations, the attention to organization, the different events – all great. Second, the students who attended the event were also quite exceptional. I speak to thousands of people at a time on the seminar circuit – and there are often participants who stand out as exceptionally thoughtful and interested but this past weekend was really something. Take a look at the picture above. Notice anything unusual about this group of about five hundred students attending one of my presentations? What percentage of the students have pen in hand, feverishly taking notes? I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that any presenter, educator, or speaker of any kind would have enjoyed speaking to this group of serious and thoughtful students. On a side note – prior to attending the conference I had tried to inquire as to how many students I should prepare for, that would be attending my sessions. No estimate was given, largely because attendance at the different sessions was left open to the students. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised that when I walked into my first workshop the room was packed with several standing on the sides. I had hoped that maybe 50 students would be interested in capitalism, our estimate is that through the course of the weekend I was able to present to or visit with approximately 750 students. On top of all that, my message of Freedom, Prosperity and Peace was very well received.
I loved the opportunity to interact with the students. It had been over 15 years since I last spent any time on this Rexburg campus and back then it was still Ricks College. I liked the name for obvious reasons, but I have to say – though its now bigger and the change to BYU has brought many new things to the campus experience – the students and faculty still had a very special spirit about them and the environment there is still very unique. I had forgotten the powerful and obvious difference that can be felt on this campus. I had life changing event on this campus 15 years ago – where I remember feeling the Spirit of the Lord very powerful in a formal educational environment for the first time – that is a story for another time – but I will say that it was a great experience being reminded of that powerful feeling once again.
In addition to all of this, I was also able to catch up with some good friends and spend some quality time with a few others. So, all in all it was a great opportunity. Though it required a few days away from family and the business, it was well worth the trip. Oh, in addition – some real progress was made I believe in terms of helping take a few of the FreeCapitalist Project programs to students up there in Rexburg, ID. Stay tuned…